Monday, August 09, 2010

TWO Happy Endings

Some stories are local and some aren't, but just about everyone likes a story with a happy ending. Today, stories from both categories are included, with the local one first.

I now know it was not a good idea to be moving furniture around on Sunday morning. That being said, the Mrs. is always looking for a new look for our furniture and decorations, and when the urge strikes her, it's pretty hard to effectively slow the process.
The family piano, probably older than me, had stood in the same spot from the time we moved in five years ago. High time, she thought, to try something else. But on its way to the other side of the room the instrument seemed to balk, then it crashed to the floor. No doubt the local seismographs noted the landing. The noise alone was great enough to wake any local late sleepers.
The Sabbath was kind of a sad one as we pondered through our church meetings how to go forward while minimizing our pain. I knew we lacked the power to get it upright, and the cabinetry appeared to have taken some hits. It was a little like a replay of the earthquake, but more emotional. After all, her church volunteer assignment involves playing the piano every week in our children's meeting.
But the Age of Miracles is evidently still with us. A pair of church brothers had heard of the disaster and came over to lend a hand in the early evening. Together we righted the poor thing and we surveyed the actual damage. The patient was upgraded from "endangered" to "curable with a little TLC", where it stands today, D (disaster) Day plus one. Next step - glue, clamps and a little patience. The keys and pedals, thank heaven, are still operable.

Now, imagine you've gone to a meeting, and hear the following, word for word, from the main speaker: "You could even argue whether that being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, a way of life, cult or whatever you want to call it?"
The shaky grammar aside, I'd be thinking where the guy has been all his life. Islam ain't new, and if this guy has lived anywhere near a library, he could have formulated some kind of answer to his own question, especially since, at fifty-five years of age, he's no kid. Is this guy a leader, a person who is able to help people settle differences or at least someone who looks forward to the future? None of them, based on this groping, clueless question.
So.. who is the guy? He's Ron Ramsey, GOP candidate for governor of Tennessee speaking last month after already running for governor for eighteen months.
Mr. Ramsey went to college and received a BS degree, and professionally has worked in real estate as well as part of the Tennessee state legislature. He is the current Lt. Governor.
Hearing his little rant in its proper context answers all the questions. He's not looking for answers, but to pander to a puzzled group of voters fearful of Sharia (Islamic) Law becoming the Tennessee standard. Why the fear? Ramsey himself brought the issue up, as if a division of Taliban cutthroats were camped across the river from Memphis intent on capturing the state by violent overthrow. Sharia Law? Puh-leeze.
Ramsey, in fact, seems to be the opposite of what people should want in a governor, but he isn't alone. Fearmongering by the national Republican Party went so well during the unlamented Bush years that southern candidates in particular see pandering instead of appealing to the best in voters as the real path to success. So Ramsey here is just trying to sound like the poor man's Dick Cheney.
What's that? I promised TWO happy ending today? Oh, right. Here it is. Ramsey lost the GOP governor nomination, so don't look for his name on the TN ballot. Yay.


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